Fw: Pelion Peninsula Friday 15 July 2011
Fri 22 Jul 2011 15:04
36:23 N 22:95 E
I had never heard of the Pelion Peninsula. I am glad we found it. It’s in a part of Greece called Magnesia, very very quiet but lots of hotels so obviously they are hoping for tourists. Pelion has a mountainous interior with sides that go vertically down into the ocean. One side of the peninsula is called “Anilios” (without helios) as the sides are so steep they seldom see the sun (bit like Dartmouth). The woodland is dense with conifers, oaks and sweet chestnuts interspersed with little terraces of olive, almonds and fruit, all scrabbling for space, I kept thinking of the Lost Gardens of Heligan. This peninsula has relics of secret schools, where children were taught Greek during the Turkish rule, and contributed fighters in the War of Independence in 18??? (I have forgotten)
We had a very interesting evening. We decided to cook dinner overlooking a beach that we’d been to in the afternoon, down a winding stone staircase with a turquoise lagoon at the bottom. First up the steps came the Albanian stone mason we’d met the day before with his Russian girlfriend, they had a chat and went off. Then up staggered an older chap with swept back grey hair, with a stick and a built up shoe. He sat down with us and waited to be given a glass of wine, and shared our dinner. This was his story.
His name was Kentavros, he retired in 1980 from the insurance industry after a serious bike accident. He makes a living by making and selling tiny, piano like instruments with springy steel keys which you flick to make a harp like sound.
I had read about Pelion being the home of the Centaurs – a bunch of reprobate half man half horse creatures who liked to rape and pillage. Except for one, that is, called Chiron, who was practised in the healing arts. But Kentavros (whose name of course means Centaur), told us a different story, from the 15th century. In Pelion, he said, many people were once afflicted with a spinal disease (could it be TB?) and couldnt walk, so were always seen on horses. One of them went to the mountains, and was given the herbs and the knowledge to heal this disease (a 15th century version of Chiron).
Kentavros told us he is a reiki master, and gave us another translation of his name – “avros” meaning aura, and “kenta” meaning to sew or repair – and he claimed that in Reiki, the body’s aura is repaired. He invited us back to his house – a tiny stone place with kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, full of quirky art. He bought the land in the 80’s for 400 euros and built the house himself. So, to complete our wacky evening, we all played his bongo drums, then he gave Sandy a Reiki treatment for his sore shoulder. I hope it helps better than I’ve been able to!